Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hacking Musical Melodies

Recently a CD has been released that featured the ending theme to the anime series called sola. What surprised me is the inclusion of the image song that was featured as the opening music in the first episode. One of my favorite style of music is those focusing on piano. But one thing I have heard are some piano melodies that are mixed into the music. When this happens, a couple of things can occur. Either the piano music would clash or contrast with the overall feel of the music or that the piano would be drowned out by other instruments. I have heard a couple of songs that does exactly that so I am not all too thrilled about the composer's and writer's style. It may add a bit of flavor... but things just need to be focused.

When I first heard the song at the start of episode 1, I knew that I must have it. But the more I thought about it, the more it worried me. Knowing that some people will mix in other musical style, I was worried that it may turned out for worse. Yet the CD was released and I finally got to hear the full version of this song in all its glory. I was so relieved to hear the entire song in its entirety and have found the change in tempo and style to be small and minor, which is very good as it does not detract from the song's primary musical instrument, the piano. After that, I had the song repeated. The song's soothing and does nothing more than melt my heart. Hopefully, a kind soul out there will translate the lyrics so that I can enjoy the song even more.

On a different note (no pun intended), I was randomly clocking in some Commander hours in 2142 when I got a kick vote initiated against me. When questioned (not by me, mind you), I was told that I was accused of hacking, which is amusing because if I knew how to hack, I wouldn't be playing this game. It was later deduced that the player was miffed that I have defended my own flag/home 3 times straight. The first encounter was when I saw a lonely sniper running towards the base and I went to meet him up close and personal. A 1-on-1 duel ensued and my Bianchi LMG outscored his Lambert Carbine. From there was when the kick vote started. The second time he came around, he used the same route. Except this time, he laid an APM next to the corner. It was a good tactic except... I crawled around the corner and killed him again. The third time around, he somehow ended up on the 2nd floor but his body was partially exposed due to the fence-like nature of the floor. Because of this, it was fairly easy to shoot upwards from the ground and kill him. What happened afterwards is beyond me... my primary focus was to command, spot enemies, notify my team of incoming, and direct my soldiers appropriately.

It amuses me to no end that some people would be so quick to assume another player is hacking or cheating in some form. Obviously, there are people who do just that. I consider those kind of people to be lower than scum. But there are plenty of instances where I find their accuracy and aim to be questionable. Yet throughout it all, I never deduce any of those incidents to be due to hacking or cheating. I still clearly remember the rare times that I would be accused of using an "aimbot" on TRIBES: Vengeance. Well, perhaps they're right to assume so. I lost count as to how much time I spent practicing with the game's chaingun to be okay with it. And I do mean "okay" as I'm sure there are those who use nothing else.

At the end of the day, I simply look over my 2142 profile, see how far I have to go, and figure out what else I need to clock time on. After all, it won't be long 'till I am at the end of the road.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chasing The Virtual Dream

Back in the early days of Battlefield 2, there exist an award that is so elusive and difficult to get due to its qualification requirement. The War College Ribbon was considered by most to be one of the more/most difficult award to get. This is due to the global requirement of a 3:1 win/loss ratio. At first, this wasn't much of a big deal. Yet as people play more, and look at their profile, they see that it is perhaps one of the more impossible awards to get, because many would have already logged in the hours and the rounds that would make progressing to even qualify a major and daunting task. Eventually, this criteria would change for the better. In one of the updates to the game, the criteria for getting this award would change so that you only need to log in the Commander hours and the points to qualify.

In 2142, the War College Ribbon would show its face again. However, the criteria would not be as harsh. However, it still remains to be very elusive in how it is set up. The current criteria for qualification is a 2:1 win/loss ratio. For early players, this'll be an easy task to handle. But like before, those who simply want to play would find that their profile will continue to have a missing piece to the puzzle. A lot will not mind this at all. Some will feel that it's like a thorn.

As it stands now, nearing 500 rounds played, I chase the virtual dream. The one single award that continues to elude me, I struggle to keep the numbers up. Granted, this is easier said than done. The task is never easy, as the outcome is never in one's favor nor is it easily controlled. That doesn't stop me from trying anyway. So far away...

The Yellow Brick Road

Due to situations a bit beyond my control, I ended up getting Battlefield 2142. I was reluctant to get it on Day 1. But incidentally, my reluctance favored me in some ways as Best Buy would advertise the game for a paltry US$25. One of the two companies is getting the profit shaft. And frankly, I did not care much for who it was. For nearly half of the MSRP for a relatively new game, I figure it's worth snatching up anyway. But even after I had made the purchase, I was reluctant to really open it up immediately and install it. Then 29th of November, 2006, the Sixshot soldier was enlisted.

At first, everything was different. Running around was rather horrible, as there are several abilities that the player needs are locked at first, giving those early adopters and stat-padding retards the early jump on a variety of soldier abilities. Things such as better stamina recovery, longer sprint time, and even grenades are locked. What kind of idiotic system and moron would lock the most basic equipment for a soldier? It's quite horrendous how the developers crippled the way newbies play the game. It's like giving them a naked soldier with nearly nothing to defend himself with but a simple gun, a knife (or spoon), and a class equipment. It would not surprise me one bit if people who started out left the game early due to how they set up the new recruits.

The only reason I have stayed was due to the clan I am associated with. Started out fairly slow. But I eventually got used to how the system works and learned some of the tricks. And then there are the guns. No matter how I looked at it, there seems to be something unbalanced with these guns. Granted, they are alternatives to the stock weapons they provide. Some are better, and some aren't. Being one who defies the Majority Pack, I opted for the Baur H-AR Assault class unlock. And the more I use it, the more I feel that it's one of the better and well-balanced gun out of them all. It's potent and has accuracy. However, it chews through bullets like popcorn. In a sense, it's like BF2's G3 unlock. Yet when I am chewed apart by the Voss L-AR, I cannot help but wonder just why it can do the things it can do. The gun seems to have the same potency and accuracy as the Baur yet it houses 40 rounds per clip. Why???

Anyway, after a while, I started keeping track of various awards I accrue over time. Eventually I started to hunt each awards in order to make the progression to the next promotion and rank less time consuming. This worked for about 10 ranks or so. And at random times, I would be stricken by the Recruit bug, where I can utilize the weapon unlocks but my rank would show up as a Recruit, the lowest rank. In those cases, I would not get the promotion if I was close to getting it. However, it is advantageous to me as it provides an opportunity to acquire various awards that I have already earned earlier. Due to the new Career Point system, certain awards provide a very good and substantial amount of points. And these bugged points get logged, sent, and added into my profile. Thus the road isn't as long or as rough as originally thought.

As it stands now at this time of writing, I have only 3 more promotions to go before the points do not matter any more. When that happens, all that is left to do is clocking in hours and getting the rest of the awards.

In some forums where image signatures are allowed, I link to my profile in order to provide people easy access to who I am in the game. The image I display (see below) changes every so often, as I manually edit it to reflect my progress. That'll all become mostly static when I reach the end of the road.

I hope by the time I finish playing the game that I'll have all the awards that I can get. However, some awards won't be very possible due to the fact that I am on the ground most of the time. In any case, I do hope to earn them regardless.